Are you an experienced Stardew Valley player and feel that you’re missing features? Why not install mods and create a whole new experience? This article will explain what a mod is, which types of mods are for Stardew Valley, where to find mods, and how to add mods in Stardew Valley. After reading this, you will be able to customize Stardew Valley to your heart’s content. So, let’s start with the basics.
What’s a mod?
Modding is a term that refers to modifying a game. People typically create mods outside of the original development team. They can enhance or change aspects of a game. Mods are files that make some slight modifications to your Stardew Valley game or any game. Mods can add different things, different art styles, character portraits, sprites, and so on. Mods are not only limited to video games but have also become popular in other forms of media.
Two types of mods for Stardew Valley
When we say vanilla, it’s your standard Stardew Valley files that are already installed on your computer. The original files haven’t been modified in any way.
We have two types of mods:
- We have mods that replaced your Stardew Valley vanilla files.
- We have mods that are used with the content patcher, which ensures that the mods are in a separate folder and don’t mess with your vanilla files.
We recommend you use mods with the content patcher to keep your vanilla files intact. This way, you can avoid a lot of compatibility issues. You will avoid any compatibility issues, outdated mods, and the need to reinstall your game. So we recommend installing mods with a content patcher.
Should you choose to use a mod that replaces files, the process is simple.
You copy your downloaded mod. Go to your Stardew Valley folder, and replace that file by pasting your modded file in your Stardew Valley folder. However, you will be replacing a vanilla file. We recommend that you don’t use this method as you will be losing your original vanilla file. At least make a backup.
Backing up your vanilla Stardew Valley folder
The location of your Steam Stardew Valley folder is usually under the “Program Files\steam\steam apps\common\Stardew Valley.” This folder is your vanilla Stardew Valley folder. All your vanilla art files are located under the content folder of the Stardew Valley folder.
Just copy your Stardew Valley folder to another place where you can easily find it. Should you need to go back to a previous state when something goes wrong with replacing the vanilla files.
Where to find mods?
We are going to show you how to use the content patcher to avoid replacing your files. We recommend you to use the NexusMods website. You can find excellent mods outside Nexus mods, for instance, the diverse Stardew Valley mod here.
If you’re getting your mods from NexusMods, you’ll need to register for a free account. They offer premium accounts, but you don’t need to choose that. You can keep the free account, and you will be able to download all mods. To create an account to register, you need to put an email and password. Once you can get NexusMods, you’ll find a lot of mods on the Stardew Valley page.
To use the content patcher, the first step you need to do is install SMAPI. The SMAPI is a Stardew Valley Modding API. This API ensures that no vanilla files are being replaced. This is what we want as the API keeps your vanilla files intact.
We don’t recommend downloading the NexusMod Manager Download. It just creates an extra layer of complication. To download, you need to go to the files tab and go to manual downloads. Just click on manual downloads. You can ignore the “old files.”
You only need the main file, which is the most updated thing that you need to install. Download it by clicking on manual download, and click on slow downloads with your free account. It’s going to download it to your download folder. If you get any notifications from your virus scanner, you can ignore them and keep the file.
After it has finished downloading, extract the files on your Windows folder. Open the folder SMAPI installer and select the installer file for your operational system, e.g., “install on Windows” if you’re running Stardew Valley on your Windows computer. Double-click the file. It’s going to ask you if you want to install or uninstall SMAPI. Installing and uninstalling creates a SMAPI-internal folder on your Stardew Valley in the program files folder. To install, we are going to press one and then enter, and SMAPI is installed. Should you want to uninstall SMAPI in the future, rerun the file and select 2 to uninstall SMAPI.
Set your launch options
The only thing you need is to set your launch options, in case you use Steam. If you bought Stardew Valley through Steam, you need to set your launch options to open Stardew Valley through SMAPI. By launching it this way, SMAPI will be able to manage the mods. You need to copy the address, “D:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Stardew Valley\StardewModdingAPI.exe” %command% CTRL C that.
Head to Steam, go to the Stardew Valley properties. Under the launch options, you need to paste CTRL V, the address, until it looks the same as the image below.
You’re telling Steam where to find SMAPI. Open Stardew Valley with SMAPI. After installing SMAPI and setting the launch options, you’re ready to download as many mods as you want.
Installing content patcher
The first thing you have to do is to download the content patcher.
Click on manual downloads, it will tell you that you need SMAPI, but we already downloaded and installed that. From now on, you move every mod that you will download to the mods folder in your Stardew Valley folder.
Now the content patcher will be working. The next step is for you to choose the mods that you want to install.
When you’ve chosen, download and paste the mod into the mod folder. You’ll see that all your vanilla files are unchanged.
Conclusion: How it looks like
When you open Stardew Valley, you will notice that a command window will open up as well. This command window is SMAPI running simultaneously with Stardew Valley. You can ignore the command window. It will disappear on its own. In Stardew Valley, you will see your mod running. Suppose it was, for instance, a mod that changes the appearance of your barn animals. In that case, you should notice the change immediately.
Mods additional config
Some mods allow you to choose different configurations or different colors in the same mods. This feature is an extra layer of customization. Not every mod will enable you to do this. However, when the mod has such a feature, it will be clearly stated. You can find the instructions near the “how to install” section of the mod.